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Storm Totals: January 14th-15th, 2019

By Reginald Stanley. Posted January 16, 2019, 4:07 PM.

The first significant atmospheric river event to affect the region this winter brought much-needed rain this week, boosting season totals to near-average or slightly above average for the time of year.

Predictions of rain amounts of up to between one and one and a half inches through Tuesday night mostly materialized. Surprisingly, Anza - a normally drier location to the east - placed at the top of the two-day storm totals, with most if its astounding total of 1.73 inches having fallen on Monday the 14th. Simi Valley observed a similar pattern, with 1.50 inches of its two-day total of 1.64 inches also having fallen on Monday. For most other WeatherCurrents stations, however, the trend was the opposite - with more rain reported on Tuesday the 15th, and far less the previous day. Lake Elsinore and De Luz both recorded high totals consistent with this pattern. Other portions of the Temecula Valley, Riverside metro area and vicinity followed suit. An additional two-day total of 0.94 inches was reported in Temecula Valley's Wine Country (courtesy of Jim Sappington), consistent with that of nearby Temecula (1.04 inches).

Some locations, however, such as the eastern valleys - rather underperformed with both storms. The cities of Hemet, San Jacinto, Moreno Valley, and Beaumont (Cherry Valley) all recorded much lower-than-anticipated storm totals. While storm totals for Tuesday the 15th were mostly consistent across the Inland Empire, totals for the previous day were very low in some eastern valley communities. Compare Hemet's Monday total of only 0.12 inches, for example, to Anza's 1.52 inches or Perris' 0.51 inches that same day. Perris was an exception, with a two-day total of 1.14 inches. The Monday storm had atypical dynamics that ignored typical orographic rainfall effects and distribution patterns that Pacific storms normally follow in the region. Beaumont (Cherry Valley)'s two-day total of 0.62 inches was consistent with a two-day total of 0.70 inches reported in nearby East Highland (courtesy of Peter Michas).

At the bottom of the storm totals was Pinon Hills, in the northern San Gabriel Mountains near the Antelope Valley. Like Simi Valley and Anza, the station recorded a higher total on Monday than Tuesday, however the totals were significantly less. This is consistent with Pinon Hills' local climate being influenced by a significant rain shadow, resulting in less rainfall under most circumstances.

An additional major storm is expected to enter the region Wednesday evening, and could produce significant rainfall across the region on Thursday. The National Weather Service has once again issued Flash Flood Watches for western Riverside County, southwestern San Bernardino County, Orange County and large portions of Los Angeles County. The effects of the storm are expected to be less severe in San Diego County and Imperial County to the south. As of this writing, the Flash Flood Watch is valid through Thursday afternoon. Additional storm totals will be posted by Friday.

Here are the rain totals for the WeatherCurrents network and associates:

Location Mon Tue Storm Season Source
Anza 1.52"  0.21"  1.73"  7.33"  WeatherCurrents
Simi Valley 1.50"  0.14"  1.64"  7.18"  WeatherCurrents
Lake Elsinore 0.60"  0.99"  1.59"  7.92"  WeatherCurrents
De Luz 0.58"  0.90"  1.48"  8.79"  WeatherCurrents
Northwest Murrieta 0.77"  0.56"  1.33"  6.19"  WeatherCurrents
Perris 0.51"  0.63"  1.14"  4.88"  WeatherCurrents
Central Murrieta 0.58"  0.56"  1.14"  5.34"  Reginald Stanley
South Temecula 0.63"  0.41"  1.04"  6.76"  WeatherCurrents
Riverside (Presidential Park) 0.39"  0.64"  1.03"  5.31"  WeatherCurrents
Temecula Valley Wine Country 0.55"  0.39"  0.94"  6.82"  Jim Sappington
French Valley 0.37"  0.49"  0.86"  5.93"  WeatherCurrents
South Fallbrook 0.37"  0.44"  0.81"  7.54"  WeatherCurrents
Moreno Valley 0.24"  0.48"  0.72"  4.59"  WeatherCurrents
East Highland 0.30"  0.40"  0.70"  6.70"  Peter Michas
Beaumont (Cherry Valley) 0.22"  0.40"  0.62"  5.52"  WeatherCurrents
East Hemet 0.12"  0.50"  0.62"  6.90"  WeatherCurrents
San Jacinto 0.19"  0.41"  0.60"  4.93"  WeatherCurrents
Pinon Hills 0.40"  0.12"  0.52"  5.26"  WeatherCurrents
  1. Note: Season Totals are as of midnight, January 16th, 2019. Today's rain amounts are not included.
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The French Valley, California weather pages are a service of WeatherCurrents. French Valley is located in southwestern Riverside County, California, north of Temecula, east of Murrieta, and south of Winchester. French Valley is bordered by Lake Skinner.
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